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Lest we forget: ANZAC Day in Canberra

Jessica Schumann

April 25. ANZAC Day.

The day we remember Australians who served and died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. It is a day that goes beyond the anniversary of the landing our nation will stand united in silence as we remember those who stood before us to secure our freedom to live in a democratic society.

As the Australian War Memorial’s Dr Brendan Nelson said so eloquently this week, “for years we have been singing ‘For we are young and free’ and that’s what ANZAC Day is about — remembering those who fought for what we have today”.

Here are just a ‘few’ ways you can remember the ANZACs this week…

ANZAC Day 2015

2015 marks the 100th Anniversary of landing of Anzac troops at Gallipoli. The Australian War Memorial is hosting two ceremonies to commemorate the service and sacrifice of those who’ve served Australia during periods of war and peace. Dawn Service from 4.30am. The Anzac Day National Ceremony starts at 10.15 am. The Dawn Service from Anzac Cove in Gallipoli will be broadcast live in the afternoon. See the service from large screens in the Sculpture Garden and on the Western Lawn. Limited seating will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.  A special Last Post Ceremony will be held at 4.45pm. On Saturday 25 April at the Australian War Memorial.

ANZAC Parade: Conflict & Sacrifice Remembered

ANZAC Parade opened in 1965 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli in the First World War. Many memorials have been built and dedicated since then to recognise particular conflicts, different forms of service and significant events. A part of the Canberra and Region Heritage Festival. On 5pm-6.3pm Wednesday 22 and Friday 24 April. Bookings are essential on (02) 6272 2902.

Anzac Day at Old Canberra Services Club Site

The Anzac Day event is being held again at the Canberra Services Club Site, (cnr Canberra Avenue and Manuka Circle, Manuka; near the Leopard Tank) on Friday 25 April. Bring your family and friends. The bar and barbecue will be operating from 4am to 6pm. The program for the day is:

  • 4am – Gunfire Breakfast at the Club Site Manuka Oval Near the Leopard Tank
  • 4:30am – Bus Leaves From the Leopard Tank for the AWM Dawn Service
  • 5am – Club’s Dawn Service at the Leopard Tank with the AFP Chaplain
  • 6am to 9:30am – Breakfast at the Club Site Near the Leopard Tank
  • 9:30am – Free CSC Bus Leaves from the Leopard Tank for the AWM for the ANZAC Day March
  • 12.30 – Free CSC Bus returns members from AWM March to Club Site Manuka
  • 1pm – 2Up Starts at the Leopard Tank – The biggest game in town
  • 5:40pm – GWS Giants Versus the Gold Coast Suns at Manuka Oval
  • 6pm – 2Up finishes and the day closes


ANZAC Day Breakfast

The Museum Cafe is hosting an ANZAC Day Breakfast from 6.30am with 10% of all Broadbean Catering sales on the day donated to the RSL’s ANZAC Appeal. Grab a yummy bite to eat after the ANZAC Dawn Service and then wander through the Home Front exhibition open from 8am at the National Museum of Australia. Bookings essential on (02) 6208 5179. Museum Friends who book into the breakfast between 6.30am and 2.30pm will receive The Home Front: Australia during the First World War booklet for free. On Saturday 25 April from 6.30am.


To our last man and our last shilling — Parliament at War

World War 1 touched the lives of nearly all Australians, including those who served Australia’s Parliament. During the anniversary of World War 1, visitors to Parliament House will have the opportunity to take a special tour and explore the impact of the war on Parliament, its work, its people who served and its work today during conflict. Cost is $20 for children and concessions; $25 for adults. Bookings essential via (02) 6277 5050  or email. On everyday from 12pm-1pm until 26 April at Parliament House.

St John’s: Canberra’s First War Memorial?

When the Great War began the first officer graduates of the recently established military college of Duntroon were joined by men from the pastoral community which still dominated the site of what is now Canberra. The little Church of St John’s, standing on the Limestone Plains since 1845, came to provide a community focus for people grieving for those lost in battle. St John’s became, in effect, Canberra’s first memorial to the Great War. Join a special tour and discover more. Phone their office for more information. Suitable for upper secondary age students and adults. Not recommended for under 15s. From 2pm-4pm Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 April at St John’s Schoolhouse, Constitution Avenue. Entry is $5 per person.


Return to ANZAC Cove – ‘Your Friend The Enemy’

During two expeditions in 2013 and 2014, groups of 13 Australian and New Zealand artists set up their easels in the Dardanelles, revisiting ‘the most sacred corner of Australian soil.’ Tens of thousands of young men lost their lives here during the 1914-18 war. The exhibition shows their vision of this landscape. On now until 17 May 2015 at Drill Hall Gallery, Kingsley Street Canberra. Entry is free.


Australia in the Great War

Australia in the Great War is the Australian War Memorial’s new exhibition in the First World War Galleries. Discover one of the world’s great collections of material related to the First World War. The First World War Galleries integrate a wide variety of items from this collection, including dioramas, art works; uniforms; medals; technology such as artillery and firearms; photographs; film; and letters and diaries.  The Australian War Memorial presents the story of Australia in the First World War chronologically, covering all major theatres of operations: Gallipoli, the Western Front, Sinai and Palestine and the war at sea. On display now until 1 January 2017 at the Australian War Memorial.

Afghanistan: The Australian Story

Afghanistan and the Middle East are now linked to Australia’s national story. Australia’s mission is clear: to combat international terrorism, to stabilise Afghanistan, and to support Australia’s international alliances. Yet a mission statement cannot capture the challenges, the successes, and the comradeship of the Australian men and women who pursue it. Nor the joys and heartbreaks, or the loneliness and the dedication of those who wait at home. Some of these experiences, set against the powerful imagery of a modern war, are told in this exhibition. Over time, the display will change and evolve as more veterans share their stories. On display until 3 November 2015.

William Edwin Pidgeon (1909–1981), war correspondent and artist

William Edwin Pidgeon was a painter, cartoonist, illustrator, and newspaper critic. This exhibition presents a selection of the over 400 works by William Pidgeon held in the Australian War Memorial’s Art collection. The works relate to Pidgeon’s Second World War experiences in Darwin, New Guinea, Borneo and Morotai between 1943 to 1945. On display in the Second World War Galleries until 7 March 2016 at the Australian War Memorial.

Gallery Tours: All the fall highlights

See highlights of the exhibition All that fall: Sacrifice, life and loss in the First World War on a daily tour.  All that fall: Sacrifice, life and loss in the First World War is the National Portrait Gallery’s contribution to the Anzac Centenary. On now until 26 July at National Portrait Gallery.

Ben Quilty: After Afghanistan

Ben Quilty toured Afghanistan in 2011 as the Australian War Memorial’s official war artist. His exhibition presents works of art developed from his experience.  “The portraits of these servicemen and servicemen move beyond the physical exterior of the subject to delve into emotions and experiences that lie below” Dr Brendan Nelson. On now until 27 May 2015 at the Australian War Memorial. Entry is Free.

Alex Seton: As of today

See the remarkable sculptures that commemorate the lives of the 41 soldiers who lost their lives while serving in Afghanistan.  “The power of the sculpted flags is developed through the way their pale marble, slightly pink in hue and each imbued with blushes and veins represents an individual and a life lost in the line of duty” Dr Brendan Nelson. On now until 27 May 2015 at the Australian War Memorial. Entry is free.

Hall WWI Commemorative Exhibition

“When Hall Answered the Call” – Visit the small community of Hall’s School Museum and see their moving exhibition to commemorate the district’s contribution to World War 1 as part of the ANZAC Centenary.  The exhibition features photos, medals, letters, and other memorabilia that tell the story of the boys and men from the district who went off to fight in WW1. Learn about the support provided by their families, the local community and Welcome Home celebrations. Open from 10am-4pm Thursday to Sunday until 30 April at Hall School Museum, Victoria Street, Canberra.

The Home Front: Australia during the First World War

Commemorating the centenary of the First World War, The Home Front looks at life back at home and the pride, sorrow, passion, wonder and joy experienced by those far from the battlefields. On display at the National Museum of Australia until 1 January 2017.

Through 23 personal stories, this exhibition explores Australians’ choices, opportunities and challenges in a time of heightened emotions. See the effects of war on those at home. Rediscover Prime Minister Billy Hughes’s determination to impose conscription on a divided nation, Basil Watson’s thrilling and ultimately tragic aerobatic displays in his homemade biplane, May Gibbs’s quaint postcards that carried messages of joy to soldiers and more.

Crisis 1914! The call to arms

Crisis 1914! The call to arms explores the political events which led to Australia’s involvement in the First World War, from outbreak of war in August to the first convoy’s departure in November 1914. In Australia’s first crisis as a new nation, we went willingly, even enthusiastically, into the war.

See the original cabinet table used in 1914, along with other memorabilia from the era which help to tell the story of Australia’s political journey.

This exhibition contributes to the Anzac Centenary, marking 100 years of service by Australian servicemen and women, and the experience of war by all Australians.

At the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House until 5 August 2015.

Keepsakes: Australians and The Great War

To mark the centenary of the First World War, the National Library of Australia invites you to explore their fascinating collection of wartime albums, medals, letters and diaries in Keepsakes. Keepsakes tells the story of The Great War as experienced by Australian servicemen and women, key political leaders, civilians, artists and families on the homefront. Discover how very personal stories become our nation’s collective memory. Open until Sunday 31 May 2015.

Home page feature image courtesy of Shutterstock


Jessica Schumann

A 'rambling ranga' at heart, Jessica Schumann is a bubbly, creative social thinker who thrives on words, social media and an innate knack for sharing stories. When she finds the time to write, Jessica seeks out the beauty in change and the essence of human condition. Varied and diverse in nature, her writing delves into the enviable world of people, travel, food and culture. When you can't find her in a nook writing, just follow your nose and you’ll soon find Jessica indulging in her other passion – cooking – or curled up on the couch with a good book in hand. You can find her over at More about the Author